The mystery of desires


Umang Chhatrola

Advanced Yoga Practices (AYP) Teacher

If we watch our behavior closely, we will see that all our actions are motivated by desires. The smallest act that we may perform has some desire behind it. Wise masters throughout the ages have acknowledged that success in any endeavor requires a burning desire for achievement. Indeed, a desire for more is the foundation of all that we have achieved and all that we will ever achieve.

Yet we have been advised by some people to stay away from desires. Why is that so? It is because all our actions may not have consequences that we may consider good. There is a cycle of desire leading to action, the action leading to consequences and eventually more desire. This way desires get stronger and can lead to great achievements if the consequences are in harmony with our ultimate good. If the consequences do not serve our higher purpose, desires and actions can seriously limit our progress. This is the reason why desires sometimes get a bad reputation. However, all desires are not bad.

If our desire is to end the misery and suffering of the world, the result will, of course, be good. In fact, we all have this desire in seed form. We all have the desire for peace, joy, and freedom not only for ourselves but for all. It is called devotion and it is required that we have it. Our devotion will make sure that what needs to be done will be done. Once we are devoted to our transformation, it will be very natural for us to consider practices like meditation. And once we begin meditating our devotion will grow further and lead to more practices. And so the cycle of desire, action, and consequences will continue leading us to liberation. Thus we can say that a burning desire to transform our lives with yoga practices is a prerequisite before we begin our journey. Without it, we cannot accomplish much. With it, anything is possible.

In an earlier article we talked about the importance of our beliefs. Desires can even change our beliefs. If we have a burning desire for something, sooner or later we will believe in its possibility. Our actions will do the rest.

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